Shorter Days

Back from the farmers market and all unpacked.  The sun was setting as I headed home at about quarter after seven, having torn down and packed up what was left of a pretty good day of sales.

The produce left over was only enough to pile a small basket full, and now it’s on my kitchen table to go into meals and maybe a few more canning projects.  That went next to the other basket of produce on the table–mostly sweet peppers that started turning red in the field, and are finishing up in the safety of the house.

It’s now pitch dark at just a few minutes to eight, and I’m waiting for H to arrive, so we can decide what supper looks like.  Despite the day full of fresh produce, most Thursday nights are for eating out.

I’m not overly exhausted tonight and could probably cook, but Raziel’s has live music under the courtyard lights–there won’t be too many more Open Mics before the weather turns frosty to enjoy Ed, Michelle, and all the other locals who come to play.

While I don’t do it every week, I passed along a fair amount of my sales money to other vendors today–Patti was selling her certified organic red onions for a buck a pound, and I bought eight pounds.  They’re a bit small this year (last year they were gargantuan), but that’s OK–they’ll roast a bit faster under the balsamic glaze at this size.

I also got my usual ten bucks worth of garlic–some for planting but most for eating.  The stoneware bowl on top of the fridge is getting full, but I don’t doubt that’ll be gone far before the green garlic shows up at market next spring.

Bob Corio at Dakota Harvest Lamb advertised that this is his next-to-last market before the final on October 22nd–so I also passed some cash his way for ground beef and lamb, summer sausage and brats.  I’m on his mailing list, too, but it just seems safer to get the freezer as full as I can while he’s right on the scene.

I always wonder why more folks don’t stock up the way I and some of our other vendors (and a few customers) do.  It’s dribs and drabs–a few peppers here, a couple tomatoes there.

When I get a customer that says, “give me all the rest of those peppers–I’m gonna stuff and freeze them,” I feel a sense of camaraderie.  They know the winter’s coming, and they’re not going to be a total slave to whatever’s shipped from the Southern hemisphere to fill the grocery store shelves that week.

I also have to laugh at the ladies (it’s usually ladies) who come to the market, walk down the row of vendors, and say, “oh, I’ve got plenty of that,” and “I’ve got more than I need in my own garden.”  Sometimes I wonder why they come when they seem to already have everything we’ve got, but I like that they do come–even just to chat.

We keep watching the forecast–all of us, and the rumors of a frost “next week,” or “in two weeks” are starting to surface.  So far, the forecast for the specifically foreseeable future doesn’t go below the mid-forties at night–we’ve got a little ways to go at least.

But the fair-weather crops of summer–the eggplant and tomatoes, at least, are dropping off in their production, and the winter squashes and pumpkins are showing up in bulk now.

It won’t be long, dear readers–it won’t be long.  Fill your pantries and your basements and keep those home fires burning.

Whether it’s a heavy winter or a mild one–winter is coming nonetheless, and there’s nothing quite so fine on a blustery, icy night than realizing there’s no need to go out in the cold–everything you need is right here at home.


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